What an exceptional gathering! This was my first gathering and I was blown away with the experience. My dear friend Paul Kulas (formerly SCSA) encouraged me to come along and we wanted to share some thoughts as a take away.
First of all, thank-you! Specifically Bob Peters, Uncle Louie, Steff (don't know his username), and Harkin Banks.
The overwhelming thought that keeps surfacing is gratitude; to experience such an enormous hill that defines the quintessential skier's experience. Even though I have skied this hill on hero snow, the variable conditions proved to be a great lesson in training, learning, and development. Paul and I tend to place a great deal of time and energy into ski technique and Jackson teaches that technique is only part of the total development of a skier. Humility, risk assessment, and psychology are indicators of greatness and this mountain teaches these lessons if you're willing to learn them. "Never underestimate this terrain, never overestimate your ability." Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol.
For example, we skied Hoop's Gap and it was downright slick. I was negotiating an uncontrolled slide as I couldn't engage my edges at all. I stayed on my feet. But a fall could've been disastrous. Paul ended up with his tails lower in the fall line than his tips. Again, it could've gone very wrong. We don't experience that here at Beaver Creek. Falls can hurt you, but up there the consequences can be more.
The best part about the trip was meeting new friends. Frankly, we met people that will be friends for life. On the second day, we skied with Patrick Riley and Daryl Brown (DBski). On the third day along with Sal (Harkin Banks), we met other fantastic Souls, Dave (FatBob) and John (MDskier). We had such a great connection with these folks that defined community. Daryl ended up coming back home with us and skied Pow at Vail and Beaver Creek these last 2 days. He is an exceptional individual who experienced more than he bargained for. Paul opened his home to him, and "paid it forward."
Lastly, the conditions were undesirable, and we had a moment in which we wanted to turn around and come home to ski the 3 some feet of snow that had fallen while we were gone. I'm glad we didn't! Well done Ladies and Gentlemen!
The 2 guys on skinny slalom skis.